The 2017 class has only been in the spotlight for just over a week and there have already been two big decommitments from top Michigan targets, including one from a (now former) UM commit.
Keeping Options Open
News of 2017 Newton (GA) WR Jeremiah Holloman decommitting from Michigan wasn’t too much of a shock. After receiving an offer from Ole Miss, which was followed by a couple cryptic tweets, the writing was on the wall.
— Jeremiah Holloman (@Obey_Classics) February 12, 2016
Holloman has said several times that he’ll continue to look at the Wolverines but with the amount of receivers on the board and the interest he’s starting to garnish from SEC, it would be surprising if he ends up in this class at the end of the day.
As for the other decommit that has Michigan fans and coaches interest, 2017 Kennedale (TX) OLB Baron Browning announced via Twitter that he would be opening up his recruitment this past weekend:
— 6️⃣ (@baronbrwnng) February 14, 2016
Browning is one of the top players and linebackers in the class and looks to be a top target for the UM staff. And thanks to that pursuit and his family’s relationship with Harbaugh (his older brother, Barry, committed and played for Harbaugh at Stanford), Michigan should have a great shot at the Longhorn State standout.
Standing Out for Top Targets
After Michigan signed three 2016 recruits out of Flanagan high school in Florida, all eyes turned to their 2017 class of prospects. Mainly, top rated CB Stanford Samuels III.
Though UM offered Samuels early on and already added a couple of his teammates, he looked like a long shot to follow his friends up north. His father is a former Florida State standout and all signs have pointed to him signing with the Seminoles since his recruitment started. However, Michigan looks to be wearing on him as he told Scout’s Corey Bender that UM is one of the four teams standing out in his recruitment:
If Bush Jr, Gil, Metellus and the staff, which could soon include his former high school coach (Devin Bush Sr.), continue to sell him on the Wolverines, UM should be in this race throughout the cycle.
While Samuels is a known name on the 2017 trail, one name that I believe will be one to watch closely throughout is Bingham (UT) DT Jay Tufele. The big, physical, talented defensive lineman looks to be a great fit up front for Greg Mattison and Don Brown, and is already taking a liking to the Wolverines.
According to 247Sports’ Justin Hopkins, Tufele is favoring four schools early on, including UM ($):
I really like the new coaches at Michigan and how well they are recruiting. I’ve talked to Harbaugh and he seems pretty nice. I love the tradition at Michigan too.”
With Tufele planning on being patient before making a decision, Michigan will likely do all they can to get him on campus multiple times before NSD. If they can sell him on joining a dominant defensive line and moving away from home, my early prediction of adding him to the latest BGRC could come true.
As for a name I didn’t add to my February BGRC but could include in future class predictions, Santa Margarita Catholic (CA) OL Brett Neilon spoke with The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich about his upcoming visit to Ann Arbor, his teammate and interest in the Wolverines ($):
I don’t have a top list yet,” he said. “Michigan will be a top school when all said and done though. They will get heavy consideration. Anyone with an offer can’t not consider Michigan. Awesome school, great facilities, crazy fan base and rich history plus great coaches. Can’t go wrong.”
Neilon will be visiting with good friend and elite 2017 St John Bosco (CA) OL Wyatt Davis. So, expect the staff to roll out the red carpet for both of these west coast targets in order to try and start the much needed offensive line haul with a bang.
Another 2017 lineman to watch closely moving forward is Gadsden City (AL) OT Toryque Bateman. He looks to be one of the top targets for the staff in this cycle and thanks to an early offer and ties to Alabama, they could have a bit of a head start over the in-state schools.
- 2017 St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) RB Kyshaun Bryan recently (as in this past week) transferred to STA from American Heritage high school. But luckily for Michigan, their early offer to him and his close ties to 2016 signee TE Nick Eubanks, has UM sitting pretty early on. According to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, Bryan is already planning a visit to Ann Arbor in the not-so-distant future ($).
- 2017 Plaquemine (LA) S Todd Harris is another top recruit out of SEC country that Michigan is making moves with. Harris told Lorenz that “there’s just something about the Michigan program,” ($). Pulling any player out of Louisiana is extremely difficult but thanks to the Greg Jackson connection and early interest, UM looks to at least have a shot in the dark here.
- 2018 Newbury Park (CA) QB Cameron Rising landed an offer from Michigan right before NSD and, thanks to that, the Wolverines look to be in great shape early on. He also spoke with Steve Lorenz about how interested he is in the total package in Ann Arbor ($).
Before I put the cover on this edition of the Inside the Fish Bowl, I had to put up this new video Michigan QB Shane Morris from Allen Trieu. The former top recruit and (somewhat) forgotten man in the quarterback race looks really good in this one, showing his physical maturity, athleticism and ridiculous arm strength that, according to Trieu, is actually not fully on display because of the high school receivers.
Morris looks to be playing catch up to expected 2016 starter John O’Korn this spring, summer and fall but if he can figure out the mental side of things, his physical talent should give him a real shot at seeing the field before his career is over in Ann Arbor.
Photo Credit: Todaysu.com